"President Trump is withdrawing his controversial nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management.
A White House official confirmed the Pendley nomination is being withdrawn. The nomination will not be officially withdrawn until the Senate returns from its annual summer recess in September, multiple sources said.
The move to pull back the Pendley nomination comes as a surprise, and it's not clear why Trump is doing so less than two months after making him his first nominee for BLM director in nearly four years in office.
But Pendley, whom Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and BLM had defended vigorously, will continue "to lead the Bureau of Land Management" as its deputy director of policy and programs who is also "exercising the authority of director," the Interior Department confirmed in a statement."